“i refused to wait for the images of slaughter & mass graves before taking action”

“To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and – more profoundly – our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are. Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as President, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.”

Text of speech here

“The United States will not be able to dictate the pace and scope of this change. Only the people of the region can do that. But we can make a difference. I believe that this movement of change cannot be turned back, and that we must stand alongside those who believe in the same core principles that have guided us through many storms: our opposition to violence directed against one’s own citizens; our support for a set of universal rights, including the freedom for people to express themselves and choose their leaders; our support for governments that are ultimately responsive to the aspirations of the people.

Born, as we are, out of a revolution by those who longed to be free, we welcome the fact that history is on the move in the Middle East and North Africa, and that young people are leading the way. Because wherever people long to be free, they will find a friend in the United States. Ultimately, it is that faith – those ideals – that are the true measure of American leadership.”

“…..But let us also remember that for generations, we have done the hard work of protecting our own people, as well as millions around the globe. We have done so because we know that our own future is safer and brighter if more of mankind can live with the bright light of freedom and dignity. Tonight, let us give thanks for the Americans who are serving through these trying times, and the coalition that is carrying our effort forward; and let us look to the future with confidence and hope not only for our own country, but for all those yearning for freedom around the world.”

President Barack Obama speaks about Libya at the National Defense University in Washington, March 28

President Barack Obama shakes hands with military officers after he spoke on Libya at the National Defense University in Washington

78 Responses to ““i refused to wait for the images of slaughter & mass graves before taking action””

  1. 1 Me4obama
    March 28, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    Am crying endlessly, am shaking. This is beyond commenting at this time for me I have to digest what just hit me. I will Comment after I come down.

  2. March 28, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    I am speechless…

    I am so awed by this man. What an amazing speech.

    Right now my heart feels like it will explode.

  3. 4 Debra
    March 28, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    A outstanding speech by a outstanding President. We are blessed to have President Obama at this time of turmoil in the world.

  4. 5 Roberta in MN
    March 28, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    I an with you in this speech. I am listening to the callers on S-Span and some of them are just nuts. But he was right on and those that didn’t see that or really pay attention to what he said are not ever going to listen to him or accept what he is doing for this country and the international countries.

  5. 6 Suzanne
    March 28, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    Wow. Just watched his speech and I am bowled over! Awed. This is the policy he has always been speaking about, but now we see it in action. He has built the good solid relationships with the leaders and people of other countries. He has shown he supports the people of each country in determining their future — with assistance if needed like they are doing in Libya — but so clearly he is empowering the people of that country to determine their own future. He considered and supported the people creating new democracies in Egypt and others who would have had to deal with refugees from Libya if this intervention hadn’t happened. It was a legal action with a strengthened NATO coalition. I want to read the transcript when they have it — I had so many thoughts going on that I don’t think I took it in.

    I watched it on the White House live stream and the only pundit in sight is me!! LOL.

    What an amazing man he is. Wonderful ideas, compassion, strength… My admiration for him grows more every day.

    • 7 Suzanne
      March 28, 2011 at 8:20 pm

      I haven’t called the White House comment line in awhile. I think a call tomorrow is definitely in order! Volunteers staff it so you speak to a live person. It always makes me feel good and is such an quick way to have my voice heard. If you want to call too the number is


      In addition to everything else, one thing that always amazes me when I look at him is that I think he really likes his job, likes the challenges, likes making a difference. I see the pictures of him in staff meetings, the oval office or situation room and he has such strong people around him. They are calm in a crisis.


      I see you have the link for the transcript, Chipsticks. I’m going to read it now. I am so glad to have this positive community to visit and share with.

  6. 8 Proud of Obama
    March 28, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    I too am in awe of him. He is the most amazing leader I have ever witnessed. He took on every critic and was clear and precise and especially clear about his role as CIC.

    He is the President. Leader of the free world. CIC. Suck on it republicans and PL.

    (I’ve got Lawrence on in the background and he’s just rehashing all the same BS. These people are so damn stupid.

  7. 9 Carolyn
    March 28, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    He said it all. He was clear, he was persuasive, he was realistic.
    He has the long historical view, and a clear ethical and moral compass. I am SO glad he is president now.
    He dealt clearly and directly with all the petty complaints that have been thrown up the last week and a half. So many people forget that he has information that they don’t have…..he sees the entire picture. Bravo, Mr. President.

  8. 10 Eleroy
    March 28, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Thank you President Obama!!!

  9. 11 Fred
    March 28, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    yes yes yes
    Preach it Mr President!

    they would blast you for not taking the appropriate steps to prevent the massacre if it had taken place and thousands had been slaughtered;Kucinich;Palin;Nader;Gingrich;Romney;Huckabee;Greenwald;Pawlenty would mock the Nobel Peace Price and say that he is “weak”

    He did the RIGHT thing and got ahead of Gadhafi with Nato;the Arab League and saved THOUSANDS of lives.

    That speech tonight is right up there alongside the Race Speech.

    I THANK GOD for you Mr President

  10. March 28, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    My heart swells with pride that he is our President and that I voted to put him in the Whitehouse. I will never doubt him and will work my everlovin’ a** off to get him re-elected.

  11. 13 Nellcote
    March 28, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    Maddoow made an interesting point after the speech. She was comparing this speech with his Nobel Peace Prize speech and found passages in that one that made the point that he is being consistant in his approach to interventions.

  12. 14 LYNN
    March 28, 2011 at 8:15 pm


  13. 15 professorx10
    March 28, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Pundits are brain dead. Any way, I might have to kick Cincinnati bells A$$ or some one because it seem like who ever was trying to keep me seeing the video. Before President Obama came on,It was working fine. Now all of a sudden it stops and starts when he is on and freezes. I am beyond pissed that I did not get to see his ful;l address 😦

  14. 17 HZ
    March 28, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    He spoke like an intelligent, caring, practical, compassionate, visionary fully engaged Father to the people who elected him to carry out the duties of the most powerful nation in the world; BUT he did it with calmness, focus, humbleness, and with every word spoken, thinking,”Do you understand why I had to do it the way that I did?” I am proud of my President, and I believe him. Thank you, Mr. President!!!

  15. 18 Debra
    March 28, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    We are blessed to have President Obama at this time in our history. Outstanding speech.

  16. 19 Asher in Boston
    March 28, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Holy cow! What a magnificient speech. Wow, wow. I am speechless right now. What an inspiring speech, the only adult in the room, and a caring person that cares about all God’s children whereever we are. But ofcourse these idiots the baggers as shallow as they are dont even know that Allah is God. The same God they invoke all the time, instead dont practice christian ideals of ie, love thy neighbor, feed the hungry. Thank you Mr. President.

    • 20 majii
      March 28, 2011 at 9:27 pm

      You are so right, Asher. They’re not Christians because they don’t practice what they preach. They use Christianity as a means to get rich, gain, use, and abuse power.

  17. 21 fancylove
    March 28, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    First of all, I would like to thank God for this website and for my president, PRESIDENT OBAMA!!!! This is my first time posting a reply, and this will not be my last

  18. 30 halo
    March 28, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    oh look, a SMART PERSON as president! what a concept!

    great job, mr. president!

  19. 31 Ceb
    March 28, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    Commented on one of the earlier threads just after the speech. Just wanted to add here that I had the same reaction.

    Chills and tears. I have never felt this way after a presidential address and I have heard many during my 50 plus years.

    No need to have anything filtered or explained by others.

    • 32 M
      March 29, 2011 at 3:34 am

      I too experienced chills listening to the President speak tonight. PBO we are so proud of you! How I wish his mother and grandparents could see him now and that they could see and feel all the love expressed for him here on the Obama Diary. Wouldn’t you love to hear an interview with his mother? Wonder if she knew early on of the potential and promise her son possessed? He is the leader we need right now.

  20. 33 Shirley
    March 28, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    I’m soooooooo proud of you President Obama, so, so, Proud :-). Really, when you are a Believer, and Is Spiritual, well he just did what he believes In. It Is written In the “Good Book”, that we are to help those, who are In need, we are “NOT” to turn our heads. This Is Who President Obama Is. Annnnnnd, he “IS” the Commander and Chief. Thank you President Obama, for being “YOU” 🙂 God Bless you President Obama 🙂 God Bless You.

  21. 35 PoliticalJunkessa
    March 28, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Phenomenal photo wrap-up, Chipsticks. Thank you.

    The speech was masterful. Nobody does it better. We are living in historic times — the Obama Era — and tonight’s address was one more piece of history being made before our very eyes.

    They may have to give him another Nobel before he leaves office :-).

  22. 37 Suzanne
    March 28, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    You added some pictures, Chipsticks. I was wondering who the military men are in the last picture you have. They look proud and approving. I hope they are. The President has always shown the deepest respect and appreciation for soldiers and has done so much to support them in many different ways. I have one relative now in the military and he wants to be there, loves the military and wants to fight, but he also wants their lives respected and appreciates that the President is not afraid of a fight, but makes rational, sound decisions about the course of action.

    After I watched the speech I read the transcript you linked to. I was so awed by his speech live that I missed some of it! It’s even more amazing for me to read it — I’m going to have to read it again for it all to sink in I think. This was an incredible speech. So strong and clear.

  23. March 28, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    It’s so good to see that there are so many people who share the same admiration and love for President Obama. It gives me so much hope.

    Though I’m not American, I feel so privileged to be alive in the same time as this amazing man. It’s like witnessing history. May God Bless President Obama and may HOPE always prevail!

  24. 40 bjw2
    March 28, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Tonight is the perfect time to relate a story that I heard on either a blog or from an article.

    In 2007 a democratic strategist along with a republican strategist went to a campaign event of a fairly new candidate and as they entered the arena and witness the atmosphere and the electricity of the candidate standing on stage the republican strategist stated in astonishment “Oh Shit”! The democratic strategist said he instantly recalled the captain’s reaction in the movie Jaws when the captain said “Oh shit we’re going to need a bigger boat”.

    Well that candidate they went to see that day was Barack Obama, and after this speech tonight every so-called republican candidate are thinking the same thing.

  25. 47 WalkingOnSunshine
    March 28, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Thank God he was there to step in and save the lives of the rebels and civilians in Libya. He is such an inspiration to people all over the world. It astounds me that there are Americans who can’t see what a great advantage it is to be loved and respected instead of hated and feared. Obama has changed everything in such a short time. God bless him.

  26. 48 anniebella
    March 28, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    I listen to our President speak word from word. I refuse to listen to the cable chatter chattering. I did not need any convincing because I already believed that this President did what he thought was right to prevent thousands from being slaughter by that crazy nut Gaddafi. It was a tough decision but he made it and I trust him. I trust my President.

    • 49 Suzanne
      March 28, 2011 at 9:29 pm

      I’m with you anniebella, I don’t listen to them at all. They will be forgotten when they change jobs, but President Obama will be remembered for generations. He has the courage to make the difficult choices with that amazing mind and heart. I trust him, too.

    • 50 louc1
      March 28, 2011 at 9:55 pm

      That’s it exactly – he is one we can TRUST!!!!

  27. 51 Me4obama
    March 28, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    Everytime I recall that moment he mentioned the soldiers who landed in Libya to be rescued and comforted by libyans on the ground and they told the soldiers that they’re friends of America Boy that’s when I lost it until now that story is still playing in my head now.

  28. 53 Sue in Minnesota
    March 28, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    He is rock solid. He has my unyielding support, respect and gratitude.

  29. 54 CTGirl
    March 28, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Thanks Chipsticks!

    Take a look at the last pic, look at the way the officer is looking at his CIC … utter pride! That’s how I feel when I hear this good man speak!

    • 55 majii
      March 28, 2011 at 9:33 pm

      I noticed the look of pride on the faces of the VP, Sec. Gates, Admiral Mullen, and Mr. Donilon as they were listening to the president’s speech, and I noticed the admiration in the eyes of the members of the military in the last pic, too, CTGirl. It’s wonderful to see how people react to our CIC.

  30. 56 Anonymous
    March 28, 2011 at 9:26 pm


    I don’t understand how anyone can say he is not capable of doing this job. I am so proud. I was nervous at the beginning because I thought he wasn’t being tough enough but in the very next breath he pulled me in and I was transfixed on him. I can tell he impressed both Rachel and O’Donnell. People should’ve learned by now (me included) you do not want this man talking to an audience.

  31. 58 professorx10
    March 28, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    Thank you for the video :)!

  32. March 28, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    The man is brilliant absolutely brilliant.

  33. March 28, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    The photo of the VP seated, looks like Joey has some big guns, been lifting weights. Nice to see that because the president needs a strong wing-man herding the DEM Caucus.

  34. 61 V C prezOfan2
    March 28, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    Thank you, Mr. President, another job well done! Thank you also for not being afraid to address the facts by pointing out historical prededents [ex. Bosnia vs. Libya; Iraq + length & cost; etc] and redefining leadership in America.

  35. 62 Gloria Powell
    March 28, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    I listened to the speech in my parked car, then spent a good 45 minutes of quiet time in my home to digest it before logging on to come straight here.

    Chipsticks, you never disappoint. I don’t know nor care what the talking heads, hate spreading bloggers, make-believe journalists and obstructionist politicians are saying. I am eternally grateful to you and BWD for the commenters’ oasis you provide, the interesting links and the great information you gather EVERY day. Of course, the picture gallery is ALWAYS wonderful.

    • March 28, 2011 at 9:50 pm

      Thank you so much Gloria, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your lovely comment.

      You know, when I listened to the speech tonight all I thought was: “My God, the world finally has a US President who is just intent on doing the right thing.”

      And that felt magnificent. I honestly was beginning to believe that, in my lifetime, we would never have such a President again.

      It’s change I don’t just believe in, it’s change I absolutely cherish. I’m just grateful I’m alive for his Presidency.

      Thanks again Gloria.

      • 64 Asher in Boston
        March 28, 2011 at 10:18 pm

        Chipsticks, thank you for all your good work tonight and always. You are a god send.

      • 66 Sonjia Duncan
        March 28, 2011 at 10:46 pm

        Chipstick, I was thinking the same, losing faith that such a president could actually exist. I wanted such a President so that my children and grandchildren would learn to think of this country as a special place that lived up to its high values. That believed in the words of the bill of rights and the constitution. I wanted so badly for them to love being an American. President Obama is that special man who makes this country shine as a beacon of hope to all.

        I thank God everyday for My President Barack Obama and I pray for those who can not experience my joy of knowing we have a very special President for these awful times.

    • 67 Kelly
      March 28, 2011 at 10:53 pm

      Yeah I watched with my man and a few of our friends. I never pay attention to tv commentators so the tv went off as soon as our POTUS finished his last sentence. I can’t recall the last time I listened to MSM pundits and there non stop herp derp news. I love my President more than ever.

  36. 68 majii
    March 28, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Fareed put McCain in his place. He is right when he says that using military force to topple a regime is what got us into trouble in Vietnam. It was also what got us bogged down in Iraq for 8 years and cost us $ 1 Trillion as PBO pointed out in his speech. I don’t think McCain knows enough about the history of our foreign military operations to be playing armchair president. Steve Benen at the Washington Monthly has been proven to be right again. He has stated several times that McCain isn’t an expert in any area of policy, and Fareed’s comments support this.

    • 69 Asher in Boston
      March 28, 2011 at 10:16 pm

      I second that, majji. Fareed sure put delusional, delirious Mccain in his place. Aint we glad this angry old man isnt the CIC? Who even cares any more what this man has to say? Like I said in an earlier thread, why does the MSM keep pimpng this man? Whereever you turn, there he is with his angry face.

    • 70 EDP4BHO
      March 28, 2011 at 10:51 pm

      Oh no, McCain is an expert. At losing airplanes.

  37. 72 Kelly
    March 28, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    So much pride and happiness that this is our President. Anything negative hating ass PL and teapubs says about president Obama, bounces off him and back to them cause he is truth. He gets stuff done…….What a man.

  38. 73 stylishgurl
    March 28, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    sdfjlksfjs;k[ripoa’;dlfa’………….. I cant even! so good, so moving!

  39. 74 barb
    March 28, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    What can I say? The man is a gift that we have been waiting for all of our lives. He has it all and can actually explain line by line what he did to bring about this humanitarian action with the aid of other nations. He nurtured and won their hearts since he came into office. That is the reason they fell in line because they trust him. I heard JFK and thought noone would ever top him but President Barack Hussain Obama is the greatest president I have been blessed to have as CIC of our country. What a joy to have someone so brilliant, humble, full of resolve and an eloquent Statesman. Lord, continue to bless and protect this man.
    Now to the pictures, Chipsticks. I can’t wait to see them and thank you again and again for being here to create our oasis..

  40. 75 blc (London, England)
    March 29, 2011 at 4:03 am

    That speech will go into the history books along with MLK’s ‘I have a dream’ and the Presidents speech in Cairo in 2008. This guy is absolutely phenomenal. I watched the news this morning and that speech hardly got a mention, I had to go online to hear it. Such was the British support for starting another Iraq & Afghanistan. Sarkozy & Cameron et al are no doubt clenching their trigger happy gun toting buttocks in shame and embarassment. Hey Hilary, that’s why he was always going to be a better man for the job. I don’t mean to dig but it is what it is.

  41. 76 joyce
    March 29, 2011 at 8:11 am

    I thank God everyday for our great president and truly believes that HE WAS BORN FOR THIS

  42. 77 Titti
    March 29, 2011 at 10:03 am

    A thinking man’s President.

  43. 78 CR
    March 29, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Thank you President Obama, our US Military and Coalition Forces for fighting for democracy in the world!

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